BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
April 12, 2006
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison, Peter Sorenson and Faye Stewart present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, Assistant County Counsel Dave Williams and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Stewart added a discussion item under Commissioners Business on the Cottage Grove water treatment plant decision.
Green said item 5. b. is a time certain about the Enterprise Zone. He said, based upon the Eugene City Council’s action on Monday, they are going to discuss this and roll it.
Item 7. a. is pulled.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Iana Matthews Harris, Eugene, said if there is no electricity allowed on Saturdays for free speech then it singles out the youth or working people, as Saturday is their only free day. She said the youth program shouldn’t have to suffer because of the disrespect of others. She stated when they set up the terrace, they leave it better than they find it. She said it wasn’t fair their program has to suffer for the crimes they didn’t commit. She agreed there were problems with the behavior that goes on at the courthouse. She commented that the upper level is full of people who are drinking alcohol, taking drugs and doing inappropriate things, and the lower area is focused on free speech. She said they are trying to build a positive environment that supports and encourages people to give to their community and if the Board represented the community they needed to listen to them. She said they are trying to keep the spirit of Wayne Morse alive. She stated that taking the electricity away would hurt them and the terrace. She commented that there is illegal activity taking place and she has never seen a policeman.
Ishi Woods, Eugene, stated he is a co-manager of the Wayne Morse Youth Program. He was disappointed in the Board’s decision to discontinue the sound. He said the problem of vandalism and drugs won’t be solved by taking away the electricity. He thought there were personal issues and that is why the Board took the electricity away. He commented that drugs and vandalism are not caused by free speech. He said they are trying to do positive things. He added that homelessness is a big issue. He said by shutting down the electricity, the County is taking away their voice and allowing illegal activity to continue. He wanted people to speak their mind in a civil way.
Victor Strathekis, Eugene, stated he is on the Board of Directors for the Wayne Morse Youth Program. He said they are a grassroots youth program. He said they have been an advocacy group for young people since 1993. He indicated he had never seen a policeman in the area. He thought there should be a policeman and then bad activity would disappear.
David Woods, Eugene, said they have been doing free speech for some time and their youth program is designed to support the youth in what they desire to do. He said they are a civics program. He said they spent their own money on the youth program without anyone’s help. He commented that it was mean spirited to turn off the program that the youth are involved in. He said there is nothing provided for the youth in Lane County.
Woods wanted the video from the Saturday Market so they could use it in their own defense. He also wanted all the minutes from the meeting.
Jim Weaver, Eugene, heard that on the steps of the court house illegal things were taking place. He commented that it was a shame and a disgrace. He asked the Board to post a deputy Sheriff to protect the Lane County courthouse from the criminals.
Zach Harrigot, Eugene, commented there was a lot of illegal activity taking place and they all find it a disgrace. He thought they needed to see beyond the drugs that were going on and the negative things. He said the free speech program is a positive addition to the community. He commented that there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for people to exercise their first amendment rights where they could be heard on a community wide basis. He thought this was a positive thing and taking away the electricity would kill the program. He commented that a microphone is the positive solution to what is going on.
Donavan Verchal, Eugene, said he never used the free speech mike or had ever gone to Saturday Market and gotten drunk or vandalized. He said the area should be looked upon and regulated before free speech, which is not an illegal activity. He thought police should be more of a presence. He commented that if someone uses the mike and preaches vandalism, they would be ignored.
Danya Ariel, Eugene, said he had been going to Saturday Market all of his life. He said there had always been illegal activity. He commented that free speech has nothing to do with that. He stated that cutting the power would not help the problem.
Tom Halferity, Eugene, challenged the notion that the problems are caused by the homeless youth. He checked things out last Saturday and saw an SUV pull up and let their children out. He commented that the youth are from the county, but not just the poor youth. He thought besides having a Eugene Policeman walking around, he wanted to see the basement and bathrooms opened. He added that Metrovision should be recording what is taking place and then the problems would go away.
Stewart asked if the Saturday Market was a permitted activity through the city.
Van Vactor responded that with the County they have a license agreement for them to use the County’s corner and Saturday Market has the similar agreement for the City of Eugene.
Stewart recommended sending the minutes and activities that are taking place over to the City of Eugene to find out if they can come up with some sort of security.
Van Vactor indicated that he put this matter on the SEL agenda for Friday.
Dwyer said he goes down to the courthouse on Saturday nights and Sunday. He said he examines the aftermath. He said it would be nice if the Eugene Police Department or a bicycle cop could be known and that could temper the amount of the illegal activity there. He stated that this is in the jurisdiction of the City of Eugene. He suggested writing a letter to the Eugene City Council and to the mayor to ask that they make a presence for the Saturday event.
Sorenson asked if the electricity could be turned back on.
Van Vactor responded that could happen if it is directed by the Board.
Sorenson indicated that the Board didn’t direct the electricity to be taken out. He thought this was an over reaction to things that were going on. He said if things are going on that are illegal, then the county or city should have law enforcement present. He thought the power should be turned back on.
Green recalled that there was an oral report on this last week. He said there was a recommendation by the Policies and Procedures Committee. He noted that they would not be revisiting this until June. He said that David Suchart, Management Services, took the instruction. He said the City of Eugene is reluctant in doing any enforcement on the County’s property. He recalled the last time the police intervened according to the Sheriff, there could have been a near riot situation because of the police presence. He commented that the Saturday Market people are doing the best they can with the situation. He said this issue is not about Wayne Morse. He stated that no one was suppressing free speech.
Dwyer wanted to send a letter to the city letting them know what their dilemma is in terms of the sound and asking if they would cooperate by providing a police presence so they could resume the sound. He wanted to give them the opportunity to respond.
MOTION: to send a letter to the city letting them know what their dilemma is and asking them if they could provide a police presence and giving them an opportunity to respond.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
3. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
4. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE
Sorenson commented that the universal wage campaign is fighting to fix the federal minimum wage. He said on Monday April 17 they will be holding rallies across the country and there will be one in Eugene. He stated that they know if business paid its employees a fair living wage, they could reduce the burden to tax payers across America. He said there are an estimated 1 million minimum wage earners in the United States.
5. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
a. REPORT BACK/Diversity and Lane County's Boards and Commissioners.
Van Vactor explained that this involves Lane County’s Diversity Action Plan. He noted that one of the plan requirements the Board adopted is that they evaluate the advisory committee that advised the Board of Commissioners.
Sue Barnhart, Developmental Disabilities, said they are seeking input on how to recruit and train committee members and how to report back on the progress in that area. She recalled in March 2005 the Board unanimously approved the Lane County Diversity Action Plan. She noted that one of the goals is to insure that County boards, commissions and advisory committees are reflected in the diversity of Lane County’s population. She indicated that there are action items to implement a strategy to recruit and retain diverse committee members and to conduct an annual review and to develop a report card.
Van Vactor explained when they went to decide which committees to review, they went through the Lane Manual. He said they included the PSCC and the Law Library. He said the PSCC is determined by statute so the Board doesn’t have a lot of discretion. He added for the Law Library, the Lane County Bar Association participates and they made the decision to be inclusive and include them even though the Board doesn’t have ultimate control of the membership.
Morrison noted there were no women on the Farm Review Board but there are three female members on the Vegetation Committee. She indicated that the report showed there were no women. She commented that some of the information was not accurate. She thought from a policy committee aspect, that it was an advantage to have people who are knowledgeable about what they are doing. She was concerned they were going to push themselves into a direction and dilute some of the information they want the committees to provide if they don’t have the background and expertise. She thought it was harder to recruit younger people when they have children that are in activities after school. She didn’t know how to get around that. She thought they should be capitalizing on people who are retired. She noted there was a problem with commitment to attend the meeting. She didn’t know why attendance was an issue when there is an attendance requirement.
Serafina Clarke, Children and Families, reported the first recommendation is to consider what the issues are. She noted the committees are doing the best they can to recruit people. She said the recommendation is not just to improve but also to visit the committees and see how they function so people like youth and consumers have more of a voice and place. She said they also suggested that instead of surveys every year that they go to every two years. She said they were going to add more questions to the survey wanting to match their race ethnicity issues with the census. He said the way they currently get information about vacancies should be diversified. She commented that some committees do a better job than others. She added that some committees meet once a year and it is harder to get the information. She said they thought about developing incentives for people who participate, as that might increase people’s willingness to give their time.
Dwyer wanted to see how the pie chart matches up with the census track.
Sorenson thought there was over representation of some districts and under representation of others. He thought Eugene and Springfield are regions they should assess with geographic interest and diversity.
Green asked about the point of having a policy on diversity if they are not trying to affect it by behavior. He said there were concerns about political correctness. He commented that it is hard for high school kids to be a full participant because of transportation and other things going on in their lives. He said creating a mentor aspect would be beneficial. He supported the recommendations.
Stewart was supportive of all the recommendations. He thought the only way they could do this was to take the total amount of people involved in the committees and use that data. He said it was hard to get people involved. He was supportive of using the public information initiative to get out the importance of people volunteering as that is what forms the decisions that get made. He said unless they were willing to restructure the committees to get more people on them, they would have to live with some things not meeting the diversity they want because they are limited on the number of people who want to be involved.
Dwyer thought they needed to add economic status. He also wanted to add the relationship to the actual census.
Morrison thought it was okay to leave the board order for new committee members on the Consent Calendar. She thought it was a good idea for all of the committees they are serving to get a copy of the whole chart and it could be put on that committee’s agenda.
With regard to recruitment, Morrison commented that the little rural newspapers were good about publishing their vacancy notices. She thought it came down to word of mouth, and that was larger than any other venue they have.
Van Vactor suggested having a lunch for the committees.
b. DISCUSSION/In the Matter of Establishing Local Criteria Applicable in the West Eugene Enterprise Zone, Adopting a Public Benefit Scoring System, and Repealing Order No. 05-8-2-5.
Green recalled that after a discussion about the recommendation that was submitted to the City of Eugene from the task force, there was a unanimous recommendation. He said they decided by council action to adopt this after it has been put into an ordinance form that requires a public hearing. He noted the recommendation was not to take action until the City of Eugene takes their final action after the public hearing. He indicated he would attend to see if anything of substance changes the recommendations. With regard to Exhibit A, (copy in file) Green indicated there were nine areas of public benefit criteria. He said the focus was on small business. He noted there are different small businesses that will benefit by using the criteria. He said they talked about health insurance and medical benefits for all eligible employees.
Stewart indicated they met six times to discuss the criteria. He added that they had two public meetings and one was a public hearing. He commented that the committee did reach out to the public.
Morrison asked if there would be a monitoring of businesses they would lose because of part of the criteria forcing businesses to go somewhere else. She asked if they would be able to know that type of information.
Denny Braud, City of Eugene, indicated that one of the points is that they will report to the city council and the Board each year to show information about who used the program and the criteria. He noted that every company that is using the program is guaranteed a 75 percent exemption. He said they are rewarding the companies that pay well and have good benefits. He recalled they had interim criteria and have had ten investments. He noted one investment is a $500 million upgrade for Hynix in Eugene.
Green commented that after the city council took action, they were ready to come with the recommendation to approve this. He said something could change.
c. ORDER 06-4-12-2/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 2 of the Lane Manual to Extend the Term of the SAVE Committee Members and to Revise the SAVE Proposal Evaluation Process (LM 2.451, 2.455).
Stewart said he is a member of the SAVE Committee and they wanted to recommend Lane Manual changes. He said they want to keep the continuity and the retention of the people who are on the Board. He said they wanted to extend the terms that could be served from two to three years. He said they wanted to streamline the process in granting non-cash awards for proposals. He said they were suggesting in the Lane Manual change that they don’t need to bring the approval of the awards to the Board, all they do is make the presentation of the award. He said the awards go through the directors of their departments because it will be out of their budgets. He explained when someone submits a SAVE proposal, the committee reviews it to meet criteria and if it does, they ask the different department heads if it is a valid request and if they get a favorable recommendation then they go through and grade the proposal with the criteria. He recommended approving the Lane Manual changes.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 06-4-12-2.
Stewart MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
d. DISCUSSION/Lowell Covered Bridge Ribbon Cutting and Parade for Blackberry Jam Festival.
Stewart reported that this year at the Blackberry Jam Festival there would be the commemorative coin for the Lowell Bridge that will be presented at the event. He asked if the Board wanted to be involved in the parade. He asked if the Board wanted to direct staff to come up with the cost to put something in the parade to recognize the coin. He recommended using the float in other communities. He asked how much Board involvement there should be.
Morrison commented there was a problem of getting the Board of Commissioners there.
Dwyer said they want to participate. He wanted Ollie Snowden, Public Works, to come up with a program that allows them to participate by using the float and changing the bridge name. He wanted a report back.
e. Cottage Grove
Stewart reported on Monday night Cottage Grove revisited their decision to rebuild their Land Creek watershed water plant for the City of Cottage Grove. He said two years ago the city council had authorized staff to rebuild the plant at Land Creek. He said when they started doing the plant design, the first phase came back $5 million over the anticipated budget. He said in adding in the rest of the phases and replacing the water line, it became a $128 million project over and above what they expected.
Stewart said the city council revisited this and chose to not rebuild Land Creek watershed, but to put the money into the Row River site that is closer to town. He added with that decision, 110 users in East Lane County are cut from the water supply. He said they are outside the city limits of Cottage Grove and they received water from the line for over 60 years. He commented that the worst part is that he doesn’t know the exact number, but 40 to 50 of the owners live on lots that are smaller and they could not meet the setbacks for a septic system. He asked the Board to allow County Counsel staff to see what the options are to form a water district in applying for funding.
Dwyer wanted them to review the water log to see if the doctrine of prior appropriation applies to these people and to determine what rights a water district has and what legal remedies these have because they are residents of the county. He wanted a report back on what their options are.
Stewart announced he would hold a meeting at the Dorena School on April 22 with the watermaster so they could answer questions. He said there are people who are concerned on how they will replace their water system. He said there are answers and avenues to take and they are working with them.
Dwyer noted that the City of Cottage Grove had offered people $10,000 each. He added there might be more revenue if they formed a district.
Williams commented that he saw a fine line as to the County’s interest and the individual’s interests.
Dwyer wanted to know what the County’s legal options are.
Stewart noted that Lane County is a user of this water system.
6. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
Van Vactor said on this Friday he was spending time on the recruitment of Peter Thurston’s replacement for the Economic Development Coordinator. He added it was a formal meeting of the Economic Development Standing Committee. He said that AOC received a briefing from the Attorney General who is working on Measure 37 and from the discussion, every issue mentioned is something they have struggled with.
Vorhes distributed information on Measure 37. He said there was an issue around the authority of DLCD or state agencies waiving state statutes. He said transferability and ownership were an issue. He went to the conference on Friday to see if the same questions were asked. He said that litigation would answer some of the questions. He said the cases at Circuit Court would take time to move in the decision-making. He said there are a number of issues that are being litigated that the state is involved in. He added there are other cases involving claimants against individual counties or neighbors against claimants around how counties are treating claims. He said they have to deal with the issues as they come.
Morrison thought they would have to be careful about doing any changes or amendments to their Comp Plan as it would be expensive to undue something that might come out of the new programs.
Vorhes said they might have opportunity to address some of the dynamics that brought about Measure 37. He said the interim report is in ‘07 and the final report is in ‘09. He said that litigation is where questions will be answered and it will take time.
7. PUBLIC WORKS
a. REPORT BACK/Administrative Procedures for the Establishment of “Quiet Zones” at County Road-Railroad Grade Crossings (NBA & PM 9/27/05 & 2/8/06). (PULLED)
8. CONSENT CALENDAR
BEGINNING OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *
A. Approval of Minutes: None.
B. Board of Commissioners
1) ORDER 06-4-12-3/In the Matter of Appointing a Member to the Lane County Tourism Special Projects Grant Advisory Committee.
2) ORDER 06-4-12-4/In the Matter of Entering into an Agreement for Payment of Liens on Property Located at Map and Tax Lot No. 19-02-03-00800, and Authorizing the County Administrator to Sign the Agreement.
C. Assessment and Taxation
1) ORDER 06-4-12-5/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 3 of the Lane Manual to Increase the Assessor's Authority to Authorize Property Tax Refunds Made to an Individual Taxpayer (LM 3.825).
D. Health and Human Services
1) ORDER 06-4-12-6/In the Matter of Amending a Preventative Dentistry Program Revenue Agreement with Peacehealth Medical Group to Extend the Contract Period to March 31, 2007 and to Add $46,000 of Funding.
E. Management Services
1) ORDER 06-4-12-7/In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property to Donald R. Mathews, Former Owner of Record, for $4,000 (Map #17-02-31-13-02800, 440 N. 36th Street, Springfield).
F. Public Works
1) ORDER 06-4-12-8/In the Matter of Releasing, Dedicating and Accepting a Parcel of County Owned Real Estate Shown as Parcel “A” of Land Partition Plat Number 93-P0422 as a Public Road (18-02-06-41) (Richland Street).
2) ORDER 06-4-12-9/In the Matter of Accepting a Deed of Land to be Used as a Public Road Easement for County Road No. 1083 (Munsel Lake Road) (18-12-14-13).
G. County Administration
1) ORDER 06-4-12-10/In the Matter of Receiving a Grant From Oregon Economic and Community Development Department for Coburg/MWMC Wastewater Connection Analysis.
END OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * * *
MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar.
Green MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
9. ASSESSMENT AND TAXATION
a. ORDER 06-4-12-11/In the Matter of Approving Submission of the County Assessment Function Funding Assistance (CAFFA) Grant Application to the Oregon Department of Revenue for FY 2006-07.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 06-4-12-11.
Sorenson MOVED, Stewart SECONDED.
VOTE: 4-0 (Morrison out of room).
10. COUNTY COUNSEL
a. ORDER 06-4-12-12/In the Matter of Appointing a Lay Member of the Law Library Advisory Committee.
Linda Falken, Law Library, reported they had one vacancy and solicited applications. She said they received one application. She stated the applicant met with the advisory committee members. They recommended Denis Hyatt.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 06-4-12-12.
Green MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
b. DISCUSSION/Formation of New County.
Van Vactor said formation of a new county is a statutory process that had been around since 1930. He said it would require a significant amount of negotiation and transition process between the new county and Lane County. He noted that it is pursued pursuant to a petition process and the standard for the number of signatures is high. He said it requires a majority of the electors in the new county, 50 percent plus one.
Van Vactor said the County qualifies to meet the assessed value in order to qualify with the geographic area. He explained that the governor appoints the first Board of Commissioners on a short-term basis for the new county. He said that all of the public buildings, records and other property of Lane County remain the property of Lane County. He said under this proposal, it estimates the population of about 20,000.
Van Vactor said apportionment of indebtedness was a straightforward process regarding general obligation bonds that the citizens had voted on that could be apportioned based upon assessed valuation. He added because these statutes are old and it didn’t exist back in the thirties, they have indebtedness in the form of certificates of participation where they pledged the general fund. He said there would need to be a significant amount of work done to allocate those. He said the statutory intent would be that geographic region assumes its portion of the debt that exists. He added that the County holds special funds that might not have existed back in the thirties with regard to the road fund, the waste management fund and they would have to be individually analyzed and subject to significant negotiation.
With regard to transfer of employees, Van Vactor explained that the petitioner would assume that they would take a certain percentage of County employees based on assessed value or some formula and if that is their choice, there is a statute that states when they transfer public employees, they move over to the same compensation and benefit level for at least a year. He added that during that period of time, the collective bargaining units would be formed and the new county would have to negotiate those and they would have to set up a jail and courthouse. Regarding resolving the issues, he thought the two boards would have to meet and determine those issues. He commented there would be a significant impact on the new county and Lane County, where they have to have the officials sit down to determine what is in the best interest of the 320,000 citizens that remain in Lane County and what is appropriate to apportion to the new county.
Green hoped the people who signed the petition would take time to read this and understand it. He didn’t think someone would want to go through this amount of work.
Morrison asked if the new county had to transfer the employees or if they could decide to hire their own employees.
Williams stated that the statute that Wilson cited, also addresses a transfer of public employees to a private contractor. He said if they have to lay off, then anyone picking up the function there is obligated to pick up these people.
Morrison commented that some of this information was being distorted as it is shared with people around the petitions. She noted there were errors in significant information that was shared. She thought it was important that this information is posted on the website. She asked about the obligation of the Florence Events Center if this endeavor were successful.
Dwyer said they would enact a car rental tax that would give them a source of revenue that would enable them to repay Lane County for what they had already invested.
Van Vactor thought the City of Florence might take a different approach. He said they may insist on an IGA with Lane County and they expect the payments. He added that they would not be a Home Rule county and they could not enact taxes without a vote of the people.
11. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
12. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Morrison announced that the County Forest Trust Lands is having a special meeting in Salem. She said they were far away from coming to an agreement with the state around county forest trust lands.
Green suggested having a standard item on the agenda under Commissioners Business for the Secure Rural Schools update.
Morrison said they received an award regarding a multi agency RAC project. She said they had asked for RAC’s from around the country to submit outstanding projects they had done and how they mixed Title 2, Title 3, and the dollars that had been leveraged.
Dwyer was contacted by the state forester asking that they respond individually as a county on safety and working together. He asked who should draft the response.
Stewart recommended Linda Cook, Sheriff’s Office, as she spent time on the wildland fire program.
13. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
Per ORS 192.660(2)(h) for the purpose of consulting with counsel on litigation.
14. OTHER BUSINESS
ORDER 06-4-12-13 Resolving Workers Compensation Claim of Ethel Mashaw.
MOTION: to approve ORDER 06-4-12-13.
Morrison MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED.
Van Vactor reported that PERS was considering changes to its actuarial methodology. He said dipping into reserves would provide some relief starting July 1. He said they are having difficulty in getting a thorough analysis. He noted that Karen Artiaco, Management Services, wanted to prepare a letter for the Board for next week.
Dwyer suggested that a letter be prepared for next week.
There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 11:45 a.m.